MANILA, Philippines – Thailand completed a three-year revenge bid against the Philippines in SEA Games men’s volleyball with a 25-20, 29-27, 25-22 ouster sweep in the elimination round on Monday, May 16 in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The Filipinos – who famously dethroned the Thais in 2019 on the way to a silver-medal finish – are now relegated to the classification rounds despite herculean efforts from team leaders Bryan Bagunas and Marck Espejo.
The Philippines had multiple chances for a 1-1 equalizer in the second set, and even led 27-26 after a Marck Espejo attack. But the Thais held it together and were ultimately rewarded after a costly Espejo attack error followed by a miscommunication between setter Joshua Retamar and Bryan Bagunas completed the 29-27 Thailand turnaround.
Despite the Philippines crawling all the way to a 22-all tie by the end, Promchan Anut and Bhinijdee Napadet put the finishing touches, buoyed by an Espejo service error, and a contention-ending net touch by Kim Malabunga for the 25-22 final.
The Philippines will now face Malaysia in the fifth to seventh place classification match on Thursday, May 19 at 3 pm, Manila time. – Rappler.com